Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Coffee Shoppe vs. The Public Library

Like a lot of other people who like to write, I can't seem to write at home.  There's too much to distract me - dishes to wash, beds to make, bills to pay.  In other words - everyday life.  The solution seems simple - get all these things done before you begin to write.  But the trouble is that there's no end to these things.  The more you do, the more you see to do.  My only option is to leave home.

Our little town doesn't have a coffee shoppe.  I wish it did.  The nearest coffee shoppe is in Baton Rouge.  I wouldn't mind making the drive if I knew coffee shoppe conditions would be conducive to writing.  But I can't count on that being the case.  Sometimes the music is too loud.  Sometimes the music is of a genre that I can't stand, and it numbs my brain.  But then if the music is the kind I really like, it distracts me too much.  I want to sing along instead of write.

Coffee shoppes are social places, and I don't mind that.  In fact, taking a break from writing to eavesdrop on the nearest conversation is a pleasant diversion.    But occasionally, there are loud people.  Most of the time I think they're just having so much fun with their friends that they don't realize how loud they are; but occasionally there's a pompous jerk who really believes everybody present wants to hear his opinions.  I have to stifle the urge to tell him he's mistaken.

In spite of these potential problems, it is possible to have the perfect coffee shoppe experience - not too many people, but enough people to keep loneliness at bay - low volume music that's good, but not too good.  And of course, your choice of a variety of coffee, tea, and pastries.  But twenty-five miles is a long drive when you have no guarantee that the experience will be perfect or even acceptable.
The alternative is the local public library.  That's where I am today.  Our town is blessed with a very good library.  I'm sitting at a round oak table in a comfortable chair, connected to the library's free wireless internet.  It's quiet.  If you speak at all here, it's in hushed tones.  It's not a social place.  There is no music.  It's a serious get-down-to-business kind of place.  And there's a lot to be said for this atmosphere.  I can usually get quite a bit accomplished here in an hour or two.  But there's one big drawback - no food or drink is allowed.  Oh, what I'd give right about now for my favorite hot drink!  A skinny peppermint mocha latte with half the chocolate syrup and no whipped cream - and biscotti to go with it!


Winnie's Girl said...

Have you ever been to Coffee Call in Baton Rouge? Delicious beignets! and I think it's open 24 hrs.
The way I remember it, it wasn't too loud either.

Judith B. Landry said...

Thanks for reminding me of Coffee Call. I've been to the new place once or twice. I used to go to Coffee Call a lot when they were in the old location - before the Wal-Mart was built. I guess I just got out of the habit of going there. The new place is nice, and the atmosphere is a lot like the old location.

BellaFitz said...

Steele Loubiere's niece Gabby runs Brew Ha Ha on Jefferson just off Government. She has fabulous cake balls, too.